ESPN E:60, OTL Investigation Details Culture of Sexual Assault at Michigan State

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 28, 2018

KALAMAZOO, MI - SEPTEMBER 4:  Head coach Mark Dantonio (L) of the Michigan State Spartans and Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo (R) watches from the sideline prior to the game against the Western Michigan Broncos at Waldo Stadium on September 4, 2015 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Warning: The following contains graphic descriptions that may be disturbing.

ESPN aired a special edition of E:60 on Sunday morning with details from Outside The Lines reporting on how Michigan State University handled the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal and the alleged rape culture at the school, which included allegations involving the football and men's basketball programs.

The show, which was hosted by Bob Ley and Jeremy Schaap, featured the tagline, "Is Anyone Listening? Crisis at Michigan State."

John Barr and Dan Murphy of ESPN The Magazine spoke with several former MSU student-athletes who said they reported Nassar's actions to the school faculty in the 1990s.

Larissa Boyce told OTL that the disgraced doctor, who was sentenced to a maximum of 175 years in prison Wednesday for sexually abusing women and girls under the guise of treatment, digitally penetrated her "dozens of times" while she was part of the Spartan Youth Gymnastics program.

She spoke about her concerns with former Michigan State head gymnastics coach Kathie Klages, who didn't believe the allegations, in 1997.

"I said that he was putting his fingers inside of me...and that it was uncomfortable, and at that point she just said she couldn't believe that was happening...that was somebody she trusted and knew for years," Boyce said.

Spartans softball player Tiffany Thomas Lopez explained to OTL she felt a similar sense of disbelief when she talked with three trainers and athletic training supervisor Destiny Teachnor-Hauk about Nassar's actions in 1998.

"I felt like they thought I was a liar," Thomas Lopez said. "She brushed me off, and made it seem like I was crazy. She made me feel like I was crazy."

School president Lou Anna Simon resigned Wednesday in wake of the Nassar scandal.

Meanwhile, Paula Lavigne and Nicole Noren of Outside The Lines conducted an investigation that revealed a "pattern of widespread denial, inaction and information suppression" among Michigan State officials regarding allegations of sexual abuse.

Lauren Allswede, a sexual assault counselor at the school until leaving in 2015 amid frustration about the lack of accountability, told OTL a member of the MSU general counsel said to her head football coach Mark Dantonio handled one allegation of sexual assault by having the player "talk to his mother."

Dantonio told reporters Friday characterizations of how he handled such situations were "completely false," while head basketball coach Tom Izzo, who was also mentioned in the OTL report, downplayed speculation he could retire because of the situation.

"I'm not going anywhere, in my mind," he said. "I'm definitely not retiring. There's a lot of things that happened today that are part of life. I'm going to worry about my team, I'm going to worry about the survivors, and I'm going to worry about what I'm going to do."

Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis stepped down Friday amid mounting criticism.

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